Aksak Maboul "Made to Measure Vol. 48 / Une aventure de VV (Songspiel)" (Crammed Discs, Belgium, 2023) NM/NM

$33
"In the wake of their acclaimed comeback album 'Figures' (2020), Aksak Maboul took a playful sideways step to create this total work, a 63-minute, continuous suite of fifteen pieces, which could be described as an experimental audio play.

The thread running through 'Une aventure de VV (Songspiel)' is Véronique Vincent’s text, an enigmatic philosophical-poetical tale unfolding through monologues and dialogues, spoken and sung by a series of characters, played by Alig Fodder, Laetitia Sadier, Audrey & Benjamin from Aquaserge, Don The Tiger, Blaine L. Reininger, and the members of Aksak Maboul’s current live band: Faustine Hollander, Lucien Fraipont & Erik Heestermans.

The music was written & arranged by Marc Hollander and features his characteristic genre-hopping tendencies: strands of electronica, pop, jazz, collage, techno, ambient, improv, krautrock, contemporary classical & systems music are merrily woven together, in the inimitable Aksak Maboul style.

The album’s subtitle, 'Songspiel', highlights its theatrical/musical aspect: the work pays oblique homage to the those experimental radio plays that once emerged from the creative workshops of the BBC, the RTF and the RAI, and especially to those German Hörspiels which, at their best, might combine spoken word, instrumental or electronic music, songs and sonic research.

Une aventure de VV also modestly alludes to certain stage works written by adventurous composers during the first half of the 20th century, which embraced singing, spoken dialogues and elements inspired by popular music. Those composers sometimes invented genre names to describe their pieces: fantaisie lyrique, mimodrama, or... songspiel)."

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